What is the Architecture Development Method (ADM)?


In last week's video blog we gave an overview of the contents of TOGAF 9.1. In this week's blog we focus on one of the key elements contained - the Architecture Development Method, or ADM as it is more commonly known.

 What is the Architecture Development Method?

The ADM is right at the heart of TOGAF and comprises a detailed step-by-step process for developing or changing an enterprise architecture. Much of the TOGAF documentation covers the ADM, and everything else in TOGAF can be mapped back to the ADM.

What does the ADM do?

The ADM covers 10 phases which describe the Architecture Development Cycle.

The Preliminary Phase makes sure there is a well-defined Request for Architecture Work, and that the organization – and Enterprise Architecture team in particular – have everything in place to be able to fulfil that request.

The Requirements Management Phase sits in the centre of the ADM diagram because it is a continuous ongoing process to ensure changes to requirements are well governed and reflected in all other phases.

The remaining Phases are arranged in the development cycle to show the ongoing nature of enterprise architectural change. Incidentally, the ADM diagram is often called the “crop circle” diagram because of its shape.

The TOGAF ADM sets out a recommended sequence for the various phases and steps involved in developing an architecture. Even when an EA team isn’t using the ADM it is likely to follow a similar process.  As with other TOGAF documentation, you should always adapt the ADM to meet your exact needs.


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